Election surprise

The resounding win of Scott Morrison’s team in Saturday’s Federal election came as a surprise to many astute political observers … and politicians as well.
The thumping handed to Labor was nothing short of astounding with voters, particularly in Queensland, armed with baseball bats and not afraid to use them.
Bill Shorten was a shattered man on Saturday night as it became increasingly clear that his unlosable election was lost.
It is likely the Liberals will gain two seats while Labor will lose two.
Labor’s significant policy announcements gave their opponents many easy attack options while their complex suite of changes was probably too hard to sell to the electorate … especially for Mr Shorten, a man who has always struggled in the popularity stakes.
It is worth noting that many senior Coalition MPs expected the election was going to be a disaster and chose not to re-contest their seats. It was a clean-out of monumental proportions – no doubt aided by the prospect of a couple of terms in Opposition – but Saturday’s win means the Liberals have successfully been returned with 13 fresh faces.
Perhaps not enough of these are female but it has been a massive renewal for the Party without the usual electoral pain.
The loss of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott may be viewed with sadness by some but it is possible his removal will have a positive outcome for both the Party and the Parliament.
The former PM has often been a divisive and destabilising figure in recent years and the Liberals are likely to be a more cohesive unit without him which may also help them establish a more forward thinking energy and climate policy.
The much maligned National Party – the ‘significant other’ in the Coalition relationship – was also predicted to face a whipping but had all their MPs re-elected which may keep their own version of Tony Abbott – Barnaby Joyce – on a short leash allowing leader Michael McCormack some breathing space.
It is also interesting to note that there were no changes in any SA lower house seats.
The make-up of the Senate may work more efficiently without the likes of Fraser Anning and David Leyonhjelm, but the addition of Jacqui Lambie could mean the two Centre Alliance Senators have a pivotal role in passing legislation – which can only be good for SA.

For the full report, see the print issue of The Courier.